The Guardian calls Irish-Indian poet Nikita Gill “Britain’s most-followed poet on social media”—she has 780,000 Instagram followers and 180,000 TikTok followers, and her Instapoetry has been reshared by the likes of Khloe Kardashian, Alanis Morissette, and Sam Smith—and she has published seven volumes of poetry and two novels in the U.K. But she is far less known on this side of the pond. Margaret Raymo at Little, Brown acquired Hekate and its sequels, a loosely connected trilogy of novels in verse about the Greek goddesses of the Underworld, at auction in February, and hopes to make Gill a big star in the U.S. as well. The first book is due out in fall 2025, with the next two tentatively scheduled for summer 2026 and winter 2027.

Hekate is the legendary Greek goddess of witches, crossroads, and necromancy. The novel follows its eponymous heroine from a refugee child of war who heals from the trauma of her separation from her parents to a fearless, feminist woman and goddess.

Gill, who is now based in Hampshire, England, spent her childhood in Jammu-Kashmir and Belfast, Northern Ireland, “in spaces where there’s no real stability, just the illusion of stability,” she told PW. “Things that are not normal to other children are very normal to you—curfews and gunfire and bomb scares.” This insecurity, and its resultant vulnerability, is central to her craft. “My work reflects on the meanings of ‘home,’ ” she said. “I keep coming back to it.”

Gill has published feminist retellings of fairy tales and Greek myths, including the poetry collections Great Goddesses (Ebury Press, 2019) and The Girl and the Goddess (Putnam, 2020), the latter of which is being adapted for television. The idea for this trilogy of YA novels-in-verse “had me in a chokehold,” she said. “I thought about it every space I was in: in the shower, while I was cooking. It wouldn’t leave me alone.”

Since so little is known about Hekate, other than that she was brought up by Styx, the goddess and river of the underworld. Gill began to think of her as a child of the Titanomachy—and to imagine what a refugee goddess might look like. “The current narrative around refugees is devastating,” she said. “The only thing that separates ‘us’ from ‘them’ is colonialism, imperialism, and luck. Anyone can become a refugee: me, you, a goddess. The Titanomachy was a war between the gods. What would that look like? What happened to the goddesses and their children? Where do they go? What does ‘instability’ mean if you are immortal? I had to write this book.”

The weight of this story is best carried in a novel in verse format, Gill said. “Novels in verse let the reader get into the head of a narrator in a way that prose can’t. It’s like reading someone’s journal. The genre allows for visual play. If you’re writing about a tree, you structure your poem [to look] like a tree. When Hekate crosses an old bridge, which might collapse at any moment, each verse is positioned on the page to reflect how she’s moving. You can’t do that in a [traditional] novel.”

Gill believes that writing for young people is a responsibility—one she takes very seriously. “The writers who informed my turbulent childhood have stayed with me my whole life,” she said. “They’re guardians of who I have become as a person and a writer. When someone turns 12 or 13 years old, everyone starts treating them like an adult-in-waiting. Nobody informs them their childhood is over; it just happens. So much of my work tries to validate young people who don’t have the language to express a grieving of their childhood. Books gave me a safe place to hide. To be able to be that for another young person is a great privilege.”